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Is 2020 making you angry? You aren't alone

KHOU's mental health and wellness expert says our society was fractured before the pandemic. Now, those feelings are heightened.

HOUSTON — Americans are angry.

Between the pandemic, civil unrest and political debates, it seems like people have been quick to lash out. Stephanie Whitfield talked to KHOU's mental health and wellness experts to get tips on how to deal with the pent-up rage.

“When we have anger, we at times look for someone to blame. In some cases, they’re blaming political parties. They’re blaming the field of medicine,” said Bill Prasad, licensed professional counselor.

He said our society was fractured before the pandemic. Now, those feelings are heightened. Prasad said we have to accept that people are going through a lot. In addition, the coronavirus is limiting ways they can relieve stress.

“Find ways to blow off that steam via exercise. Whether you set up something in your garage, whether you run, or jump rope. Exercise is really important to working out stress,” Prasad said.

Being honest with yourself is another way to channel that pent-up rage.

“Sometimes controlling it simply means doing some constructive venting. Telling someone, ‘I’m really angry’,” he said.

As a licensed professional counselor, he said a lot of people feel like things are out of control, and that’s OK. However, you should seek help if that anger affects your ability to function, if you notice you are alienating people or if it leads to physical violence.

“The amount of uncertainty we are all dealing with ... What will happen with this virus? When will we get a treatment? When will we get a vaccine? When will things become normal? That really prompts a lot of anger in people. It’s pretty normal,” Prasad said.

Prasad said being a good listener can help calm things down.

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